'Everyone', consequences, and generalization arguments

Inquiry 10 (1-4):373-404 (1967)
Abstract
This paper addresses issues raised by recent discussion in normative ethics which concern relations between properties of individual actions and of certain groups of actions. First, an ambiguity common to ?everyone can? and ?everyone ought? is examined. Next, a similar ambiguity in talk about consequences is studied; here several procedures for identifying and evaluating consequences are compared. Then a notation that untangles the ambiguities is presented. Next, this notation is employed in an analysis of Marcus Singer's deduction of his generalization argument. Finally, there is a study of the question as to whether or not conflicts are possible between Singer's generalization argument and the dictates of consequences of individual actions. The findings are that such conflicts are or are not possible depending upon how a certain restriction on generalization arguments is interpreted, and that in either case the proponent of generalization arguments is faced with problems
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References found in this work BETA
J. Harrison (1952). Utilitarianism, Universalisation, and Our Duty to Be Just. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 53:105 - 134.
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